Precision attribute

Hello all!
I’d like to know your opinion on the possibility of introducing a “precision” stat as a physical attribute.
It’d be applicable to things like aiming a gun or magical attack, crafting intricate items, or a surgeon’s steady hand. All of these things are of course already covered by attributes such as agility, energy, or logic, but I consider such a skill specific enough to be divorced from those attributes. After all, your balance or acrobatic skills have little to do with your ability to hit your target.

Take two wizards for example. One uses raw power to hurl massive fireballs and burn everything in sight. The other one makes up for his lack of raw power by focusing his energy into concentrated beams which he fires with pinpoint accuracy. But, being wizards, neither of them is particularly quick on their feet. Their differences lie in the raw power available to them (energy) and the steadiness of their hand (precision).

Anyway, I’m curious to know your opinion. Do you see this as a potentially interesting addition or do you believe it to be entirely unnecessary?

How would you resolve such precise attack? By rolling 2 times, maybe adding this 2 attributes to each other then roll for the sum?
From what you wrote precision compensates lack of power from other attributes. It seems more like feat to me.

I think there’s definitely some merit to the idea of separating Agility and Dexterity. Ever since DEX in D&D there’s been a tendency to mash balance, speed and precision into a single stat for the sake of tradition (and simplicity).

However, I strongly disagree with your example of using it to represent power vs. precision in combat. Because Open Legend uses single-roll combat, both concepts are covered by the same roll; if a precise wizard and a powerful wizard are rolling the same dice, then the difference between them is just how you describe it.

We get this sort of aiming vs damage suggestion a lot (usually with regards to powerful but inaccurate weapons) and it seems to stem from a misunderstanding of what HP is in OL. From the Core Rules:

Your hit points (HP) are an abstract measure of your character’s ability to ignore pain, avoid deadly blows, and maintain a presence on the battlefield in spite of wounds or exhaustion.

So, a powerful attack doesn’t have to “hit” to deal HP damage; the reduction in HP can come from the target being exhausted from dodging or shaken from the fear of what would have happened if it had struck them. Hopefully that covers why you shouldn’t use it for that purpose.

Agility already has quite a lot of utility so I don’t think it would become useless if you take some of its abilities away: I’d suggest leaving its contribution to Guard intact (do not add Precision to Guard as well, that would lead to some absurdly high defenses) and probably the use of Precise melee weapons, with Precision taking up ranged weapon attacks. I’m not sure what to do about initiative, since that’s only in Agility for the sake of tropes and tradition anyway. @Great_Moustache prefers it as a flat d12 roll, so that might be a good option. Your suggestion to use it for crafting is an interesting one, that I haven’t heard before. I suppose it makes sense, provided that careful fingers are more important than knowledge for the item in question.

I know this was a guess on your part rather than a suggestion, but it’s worth stating that Open Legend is absolutely not balanced around this. Rolling twice is not necessary or recommended, and adding dice pools together will lead to extremely high damage numbers. Far easier to just achieve this through how you describe the attack, or as an explanation for the source of advantage from Attack Specialisation or similar feats.

This feels redundant, especially since most tasks that can be narrowed down to “Precision” already fall under the mantle of “Agility”.

The examples you give already work very differently from a mechanical point, so I don’t see the point of adding additional distinguishing factors:

  • The fireball is an area attack

  • You could make the case of the fireball you describe of targeting toughness, because there is no dodging out of such a fire

  • The beam seems clearly like a single-targeted attack

  • That attack would target guard, as someone could just duck under it

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I don’t mean to suggest that the game currently lacks accuracy mechanics. I concede that the wizard situation wasn’t the best example.
But your range with extraordinary attacks right now is based solely on your corresponding attribute score, and your proficiency in ranged weapons based on agility. I consider those two aspects of the game to be more similar to each other than to what the rest of the attributes themselves represent. If you interpret your attribute score in movement to be purely the strength of your telekinetic ability, and agility as your reflex speed and acrobatic ability, then accuracy has very little to do with either of those.
Say you’d want to make the human equivalent of a tank. High might and fortitude, low mobility, long range. Without investing in extraordinary abilities, it feels counterintuitive to invest in agility to get that range.

The wizard example was poorly thought out indeed. Your comments on splitting agility show me that you catch my drift though.
I interpreted agility to be exactly what you suggest, nimbleness and acrobatic ability. When it comes to ranged weapons though, I don’t understand why a dagger wielder would have such a massive advantage over a mace wielder. That’s where an accuracy or precision attribute might make a valid contribution

I haven’t thought this far, but for example you could have your precision determine the range of your extraordinary attacks and the attribute dice for ranged weapon attacks (taking over that role from agility)

You can always self-limit, which is encouraged in OL. If you want to play a character who is good at aiming but can’t balance, you can put points into Agility and just say that that’s the case. A good GM might even reward you with Legend points if you enforce this yourself, for example by voluntarily rolling lower dice or at disadvantage to perform any acrobatic actions, or even automatically failing if you think it would be too difficult. This is by far the easiest way to handle that concept.

If you’re still set on this idea, then here’s what I’d suggest for an experienced GM who has already run multiple OL campaigns:

  1. Precision could set non-physical ranges, with a reasonably high minimum to prevent Extraordinary focused character from being forced to invest
  2. Precision takes over ranged Precise weapon attacks from Agility
  3. Either Agility or Precision can be used for Banes and Feats that currently require Agility to begin with; be ready to disallow these on a case-by-case basis
  4. Non-combat uses should be kept distinct, try not to let them overlap too much
  5. Leave all other uses of Agility as they are, ranged weapons and non-physical ranges are already powerful enough to bring Precision up to par

The reason I’m stressing that this is for experienced GMs is that this is heavy homebrewing, and is subtractive rather than additive (it forces most characters to spend more points for the same abilities). You’d need at least a couple of different OL campaigns under your belt to be able to spot potential problems in play and to be able to tell which ones are the fault of the homebrew specifically and which are due to the setting/campaign/players. Since you said you were still hoping to play your first game only a couple of months ago, I assume you don’t have that level of experience yet. I’d encourage you to play the game as written a few times (it plays great without any alterations) and revisit this concept after your first campaign (at least) has concluded.

I honestly don’t understand the point you are trying to make here, so maybe you can rephrase it, so I can follow it better.

I kinda understand your argument here, but your solution seems to be counter-productive, as it would just be introducing a new attribute, in which you’d need to invest in. Have you looked at the Longshot feat before, for making long-range might builds?

There is no advantage here for agility over might, as both can use daggers equally well.

I’m making a connection between the skill of accurately hitting a target with any kind of ranged attack, be it with a weapon or with an extraordinary ability. You could put a spell sniper and a cowboy through the same training process to increase their accuracy, but it would translate into different attribute increases.’

I assumed daggers to only have the precise property, whilst maces to be forceful. It ties into tank part as well. Whilst agility-based characters are just as viable as might-based characters in a melee fight, they have a significant advantage when picking up any kind of ranged weapon.

You assume correctly :slight_smile:
After some trials, we started a campaign last week, so by no means do I consider myself anywhere near experienced enough to overhaul the game this significantly. I was fiddling around with a precognitive roided-up soldier build (breaking all of the telepath stereotypes), based mainly on might and prescience, but found him to be about as accurate as a drunk man trying to piss against a hurricane. Meanwhile, I found an equally unagile frost mage to be the robin hood of snowballs, which got me to thinking about all of this.

Of course, this is easily solved by introducing might-based ranged weapons or find a way to justify attribute substitution, but I see might as even a worse representation of accuracy than agility. The same thing bothered me about DnD 5e.

Thank you all by the way for indulging me in my little thought experiment

That’s certainly easy enough, it’s not even technically homebrew since it’s allowed RAW even if it’s not present in the examples. In my own games I have scatterguns, heavy machine guns, cannons, and anything else where aiming is less important than recoil management all use the Forceful property.

Ok, I think I get it now, but before you go ahead, I’ll point you to Chapter 9: Special Equipment, especially this part:

  • Damage (type) - When making a damaging attack with this item, you may choose to have it inflict damage of the listed type in lieu of the type it would otherwise deal. This property can only be applied to an item once. The damage types are: precise, forceful, fire, cold, lightning, acid, influence, and entropy, though a GM may allow or create other types.

Maybe that’s what you were looking for specifically.

Honestly, the only advantage Agility has over Might in ranged combat is range, because Might has access to quite a few thrown weapons and some of that disadvantage can be mitigated by the Longshot feat or by creating longer ranged Might-based weapons, like for example slings could make a fine example of that.

Lots of good stuff from Sam and VanGo here already, but I’ll add a little too.

The main thing here is self-limitation when you create a character.

The other big thing is you are assuming things about what a high score or low score mean for an attribute that isn’t true at all. Just because you have a high score in might does not mean you have muscles bulging all around your body. A score in an attribute represents how well you are able to utilize that attribute, and is not a representation of how you are physically or mentally. It can represent that, but you are still free to create your character and how they are outside of it.

This is why you can make a character with very high agility that is a clutz (uncoordinated flaw), but yet still manages to do a lot of damage with agility attacks. For example a fun character is one who is constantly frazzled or afraid in combat, they’ve got this crossbow, and they run around, point a shaky hand at the enemy, maybe even close their eyes when they shoot. Or maybe they trip, happen to fire the crossbow as they are falling, and it hits. Every time they attack it seems like an accident they hit, but all that is flavor/fluff, and makes for playing an interesting character.

Personally I don’t see the benefit of introducing another physical stat, especially by separating out Agility into “Agility & Dex” or what have you like 2E did with player options, or pathfinder does. I think it just adds more complexity to the system, and you already have ways of representing exactly what you are wanting via Flaws/Perks/Feats.

I do agree with Sam in that it seems you might also be misunderstanding HP. In most battles, you never actually “hit” the target until you drop them to 0 HP. Their HP going down represents them having to work harder and strain/stress to avoid taking the hit head on. Maybe glancing hits, but unless it is lethal damage, in most cases it doesn’t actually hit. Now some of that can depend on the setting/campaign and feel you are going for in the game I suppose.